Legal Immigration Into the United States (Part 11): Anti-Immigrant Hostility and Reactions

Immigrants are often or usually met with some degree of hostility, especially if there are more than two or three of them. It’s difficult to navigate the writings on the topic, even the recent ones, for two reasons. First, the relevant material looks to me like a few islands of scholarship surrounded by a vast sea of invective and of pious wishes mixed. Second, in the US, it’s not easy to locate recent first-hand documentation of words or deeds directed against immigrants, except on the Internet and, to a surprising small extent, on restroom walls. We have to rely instead on stories about the ill-treatment of immigrants. The stories are not always trustworthy because the plight, real or imagined, of immigrants has been massively exploited by a fraction of the Left in ways that must distort reality. Below is some evidence of this exploitation.

Demonstrations by beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) requesting normalization of their status shown on TV invariably incorporate one or a few Mexican flags. Since his inauguration, the demonstrations also include placards inscribed with crude insults toward President Trump. Neither inclusion makes any sense, of course. People brought up in this country are likely to be aware of the fact that brandishing the flag of another country is not a good way to sway public opinion in favor of their admission to this particular country. People reared and living in this country must also know, some of them, at least, that the president is in a position from one day to the next, to sign executive orders helpful to their cause. So why risk annoying him? Someone other than the immigrants themselves must be responsible for the flags and for the placards. Someone else is trying to capture the narrative for purposes other than those of the immigrants themselves. It seems to me the immigrants’ voices are simply being stolen from them. Here is an essay of mine exploring further this topic: “Immigrants’ Complaints.”

Below are two small conceptual contributions to the issue of  contemporary native-born American hostility toward immigrants.

[Editor’s note: Here, by the way, is Part 10]

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